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Arcadia Councilman John Wuo resigns following Gemcoin controversy

Amber stones that George Ma said he received after investing in GemCoin; but he said he lost $10,000.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Amber stones that one investor said he received after investing in GemCoin; he said he invested $10,000, but the stones were only worth $70.

Arcadia Councilman John Wuo has resigned following state and federal investigations over the virtual currency Gemcoin, the Los Angeles Times reported. Wuo promoted Gemcoin and an associated amber retail company.

City officials announced Wuo's resignation at a council meeting Tuesday night, the Times reported. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit last month and said that the company was a pyramid scheme. It's also under investigation by the FBI and the California Department of Business Oversight.

Some had called on Wuo to resign. He has also attempted to distance himself from the company behind Gemcoin. Wuo was named, along with the company itself and several other people, in a class action suit filed Monday in L.A. Superior Court, the Times reported.

Gemcoin, a virtual currency similar to Bitcoin, has been heavily marketed to Chinese immigrants. The company behind it claimed that the virtual currency was backed by the value of actual gemstones.

California business regulators issued a desist and refrain order last week against the business behind Gemcoin. Officials said that hundreds of Californians and thousands across the country were victimized by the company.

Wuo spoke positively on behalf of Gemcoin in several YouTube videos, one of which you can view below:

John Wuo speaking in support of Gemcoin